The Index of Christian Art becomes the Index of Medieval Art

Princeton University recently announced that their venerable Index of Christian Art officially changed its name to the Index of Medieval Art as of July 1, 2017. The name was changed to more accurately reflect the current content. The Index covers multiple medieval faith traditions, including Jewish and Islamic art and both religious and secular imagery, from early apostolic times until the 16th century.

The Index of Medieval Art was founded by Princeton Professor Charles Rufus Morey in 1917 and is the largest archive of medieval art in the world. At present, it offers access to approximately 200,000 images and related information in a physical index; about half of these currently also exist in an online subscription database.

The Getty Research Institute Library provides online access to the Index’s database, which is available on-site. In addition, the Research Library is one of only four institutions in the world to hold a repository copy of the physical Index, which includes Subject and Photographic files.

Coat of Arms Held by a Woman and a Greyhound, Jean Fouquet, 1455. Hours of Simon de Varie. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.ML.27.2v

The physical Index is conveniently located adjacent to the medieval section of the Photo Archive on the L3 level of the Research Library. The Photo Archive houses approximately 176,000 photographs representing medieval architecture, sculpture, panel painting, illuminated manuscripts, and minor arts. Cross-references can be made between the Photo Archive and the Index. For example, cataloguing data from both archives can be used to identify and locate images and information in both collections. A copy of the Index of Jewish Art is also shelved nearby.

First-time users of the Index or the Photo Archive are strongly encouraged to contact us to arrange an orientation.

-Tracey Schuster, Head of Permissions and Photo Archive Services

Potential delays in processing requests from the Library Annex

Due to a large book move, requests for materials from the Library Annex may be delayed by a day or two beginning July 17, through September 1, 2017.

As a reminder, the regular schedule for requesting and receiving materials may be found on our website.

Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please contact Circulation at

SCIPIO Art and Rare Book Sales Catalogs

The easiest way to find an auction catalog held by the Research Library is to do a keyword search in Primo Search by entering the auction date in the YYYYMMDD format, e.g., 19420618 for June 18, 1942. If we do not have the auction catalog, the best place to search for a copy is in the SCIPIO database.

SCIPIO, available onsite at the Research Library, contains bibliographic records for over 300,000 sales catalogs held by 25 institutions worldwide and is updated daily. The database includes catalogs spanning from the late 16th century to the present from all major North American and European auction houses as well as important private sales. Records contain information on dates and places of sale, catalog title, the auction house, sellers, institutional holdings, and other information.

A link to SCIPIO can be found in Primo Search, the Article and Research Database A-Z list and Art Sales and Collecting list, or it can be searched through the Art Discovery Group Catalogue.

One of the easiest ways to search in SCIPIO is by date. The date is entered in the MMDDYYYY format. One can also search for sales within a specific month (MMYYYY) or within a date range, by using a hyphen between the years (YYYY-YYYY), the months and years (MMYYYY-MMYYYY), or the complete dates (MMDDYYYY-MMDDYYYY). Dates can be combined with other search terms such as auction house or title word.

– Lois White, Head of Research Services